I really appreciate when people don’t just ask how I am because that’s what people do, but stress that they want to know how I’m coping with my mental problems. Nevertheless, I find it very hard to answer this question. Because – what am I supposed to say?
“The truth…?”, I hear you think, and yes, I agree – I’m a huge fan of the truth, I don’t like lies and secrets, I really don’t. But this question about my mental health implies that people want a general overview on how the last few days or even weeks went for me. And that’s what’s making it hard for me.
The thing about BPD is that my state literally can change hourly. It’s possible for me to wake up crying, then feeling great because of the awesome book I’m reading on my way to work, I might get anxious when there are too many people in the office, which can result in a panic attack after which might be exhausted but the fact that my partner prepares a nice meal in the evening can cheer me up so much that I feel overwhelmed by love, only to get extremely angry because my phone is ringing and disturbing my good mood. And then you ask how I am and I can only answer you with “At the moment…” Because how am I supposed so summarize all this up and down in a nice, short answer? Because when does an answer become too long to keep you interested? Because from which point on am I whining instead of being reasonable and saying “All in all I’m okay!” which could very likely be all you wanted to hear?
There are times when I feel healthy and times when I feel very, very bad. And unlike depression which slowly creeps up on me and then stays for a longer while (which makes the answer “I’m struggling.” totally acceptable), these mood swings come rapidly. It’s not just that I’m in a different mood at different times of the day, it’s rather that I feel like I’m a completely different person at different times of the day (I’ll write a post about Ego States as soon as I work out how the hell I’m supposed to explain them – and no, this doesn’t mean I claim to have DID – I don’t!). I often wish I could answer people honestly but sometimes I just don’t know what to say.
Also, there are things that can scare people and I don’t wish to have people worry about me – to me, many things that may seem totally terrible for others, are quite normal, I’ve lived with them for ten years now (most symptoms started around then).
People who are in a similar position – is it just me or are you struggling with “How are you?” as well? Any advice?